The dream world Josias had found refuge in was sent fleeing by the arrival of a sound that did not belong there. His dark eyes slid beneath their lids, the only movement he allowed himself, as he waited to hear what had set off his internal security system. Each muscle in his small body tensed, ready to strike or flee depending on what news his ears delivered.
The light scratching resumed a few meters away. Josias relaxed slightly. It was just a rat and if he was quick enough, it would also be breakfast. He opened his eyes and let them adjust to the pre-dawn darkness. Though he could not see it yet, the crumpling of trash told him the rat was moving closer. (more…)
Author’s Note: Each week I write for you, the reader. Forgive me, but this one is for me.
“This can’t be right…”
As Dave studied the lush landscape through the spots on his windshield he quickly concluded that he had made an error somewhere along the way.
From a young age Dave had come to acknowledge certain facts about his life. He would never be the biggest or strongest. The things that fascinated all the “cool” people held no interest for him. But Dave had two things that very few people could match, an insatiable curiosity that drove him to learn everything he could about subjects that piqued his interest and a deep hatred for being wrong. This combination was strong enough to key to his rapid rise at Unified Solutions, the top engineering firm in the state, despite his deficiency of social skills. (more…)
Every year I get two’s and sometimes three’s of requests to bring back a particular character from a past story and this year is no different. If you would like to read the original story from which this character originated, you can find it here. Enjoy.
Most September evenings, when the heat of the day had been swept aside by the cool breeze rolling in from the mountains and more often than not the Cubs had thrown away a lead in last few innings, I would often meander out to my third floor balcony to watch the world from above. It was on one such night that my imaginary walls of safety were demolished, exposing me to the true danger of the world in which we live. But more importantly, it was the night I had the best snickerdoodle I have ever tasted.
Thinking back, I cannot remember a single detail that would have hinted that the night ahead of me should be any different from the 9,524 nights that had passed before it. Shortly after the last tendrils of sunlight released their grip on the city, an Eastern wind announced its arrival through the branches of a large birch that scraped against the side of my apartment. My sliding glass door shifted and knocked against its track as if to confirm the wind’s entrance into the city. With Chicago leading by four runs, a tiny flame of hope danced wildly inside me as if the breeze outside my windows had a secret passageway to my heart. Over the next hour I would witness the inevitable collapse of my team in 52 inches of glorious color and pain. (more…)
I looked over to the clock on the stove as I dried off my hands. The red numbers glowed 7:03. Only twenty-seven minutes left.
Tonight, everything had to be perfect because she was perfect. Well, maybe not perfect, but perfect for me. Thoughts of the first time I saw her flashed into my mind. I don’t remember it, but she swears I said, “I was hoping maybe meeting me would be nice and you have pretty smile.” Maybe I did. I was so nervous. Mortals have no place in the company of angels. (more…)
The town of Evansville is at war. The Factory did not bring this war to us. We did this to ourselves, but the Factory has created a dividing line. And everyone must choose a side.
I do not know what course of events lead us down the path we chose for ourselves, but everything changed at 9 a.m. on July 12th, 2012. Like a pebble being dropped into a smooth pond, the day The Factory opened sent ripples that would eventually reach every man, woman, and child in our town. I don’t know a single soul who would disagree with this fact, though they would argue whether the change was for the better or for worse. (more…)
Maor drifted through the Hall of Life, keenly aware that a guest had arrived. Visitors to The Library were rare and he took great pleasure in serving each one. A sea of books slid silently into the distance as he made his way down the central aisle until he found his destination.
His visitor stood statuesque, eyes locked onto a single book. Dark brown hair hung loosely over his broad shoulders. He appeared to be young, though it was always difficult to tell. The muscles of a warrior tried to hide themselves beneath the robes that hung down to the floor with about as much success as a mountain hiding beneath a curtain. Maor greeted the angel with a quietness that had nothing to do with their surroundings. (more…)
In my defense, I was desperate. If my mother would have been there she would have pointed out that my desperation was directly related to my lack of patience, but I tend to ignore my mom when she brings up my flaws anyway.
It all started with a craving for a taco. This was no ordinary taco craving though. It was a Seventh Street and Bell, outside the Hard Eight Billiard Club, taco stand taco craving. No one can make a street taco like Jose. (To be honest, I’m not actually sure that Jose is his name. He doesn’t speak English and it’s just easy for me to remember.)
Mrs. Wonder smiled politely and started a gentle clap that prompted the rest of her first grade class to follow suit. Show-and-tell Friday’s had become a predictable time of slow talking and a round of letting all the students touch each object. This week’s theme of “What I Collect” had been a small parade of Barbie’s, superhero action figures, and for those who forgot to bring something… shoes.
“The greatest gift you can give the world is not what you say or do, but who you are.”
David’s knee quietly kept pace with the thousand thoughts that raced through his mind as he watched the door. Each breath recharged the nervous energy that filled him and found it’s only outlet in the restless bounce of his right leg. (more…)
The high-pitched scratch of chalk assaulted DeMarcus’ ears as Mr. Wainright finished writing the quote on the blackboard.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
DeMarcus was well acquainted with fear. His education on the subject began with the first steps of his life. Though his understanding was shallow in theory, life in the Bronx provided depth in experience. Sleep was elusive without the echo of gunshots off the crowded stacks of high-rises and sirens fading into the night. Silence always struck a much deeper note of fear in the concrete jungle.